I was pleased to see that my very good friend, Alun Cairns was fast-tracked by the Vale of Glamorgan Conservatives last night to be their General Election candidate. I worked closely with Alun during my eight years as an Assembly Member - and always reckoned he was one of the sharpest, hardest working and inventive AMs, across all parties. He really knew how to 'hold the Government to account'. Like a dog with a bone. Although he's been an excellent and commited AM, he has always had a yen for Westminster. And I've always fully approved of this. Personally, I was a bit disappointed when Jonathon Morgan, the other highly talented Tory 'youngster' didn't go for Westminster as well. They both have Cabinet potential.
Its not that I see Westminster in any way more significant than Cardiff Bay. Its not, and in some ways its less significant. Its just that I like to see politicians moving between the different levels of Government - and I think that the House of Commons/London lifestyle is well suited to ambitious, energetic, young men and women. They can come back to the Assembly later on in life, bringing the sort of experience that came with Ron Davies, Rhodri Morgan, the two Dafydds and John Marek. Its because of my support for this fluidity that I so approve of Jonathon Evans, currently Tory MEP for Wales trying his luck in Cardiff North for the General Election. Jonathon is Wales outstanding Tory politician. I really hope he makes it.
I too am trying to move from the National Assembly to Westminster - but this has not really been a long standing ambition. I truly loved being a member of the National Assembly - and only considered Westminster after losing my seat on the great roulette wheel that is PR a few weeks ago. But I do recognise that there is an exciting job to do in Westminster, not least helping devolution be successful - and a wonderful history that must inspire anyone who steps foot into the Palace as a public representative. It would be a truly momentous day for me if Alun Cairns, Jonathon Evans and I walked into the House of Commons together. And I think that it's just about possible.